© 2023 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Democratic Party endorses Buffalo mayoral primary winner India Walton

India Walton holds a SAFE STAFFING SAVES LIVES sign
Mike Desmond
Buffalo Mayoral candidate and nurse India Walton participated in this week's picket line outside Mercy Hospital. She now has the official endorsement of the Erie County Democratic Party for mayor.

India Walton is now the endorsed Democratic candidate for Buffalo Mayor in November. Wait, didn't voters make that choice in the primary election?

While Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner started backing Walton within hours of her beating the originally endorsed candidate, incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, Thursday evening made it formal.

"Obviously, we didn't start out supporting India," said Zellner. "She won the primary. We respect the will of the Democratic voters. As I said, she wanted us to do this endorsement tonight. She answered a lot of questions from our committee. Everyone feels very comfortable with her and I think excited to have our endorsement and I'm looking forward to November where we can bring her across the finish line."

Brown is running a write-in campaign, which is legally difficult. His quest for an official ballot line is before the Erie County Board of Elections Friday, with its two members including Zellner.

The county chairman said Walton wanted a real supporting vote from the County Committee and that's what she received Thursday. Zellner said they are all working together now.

"What was important to India is to have our Democratic Party seal of endorsement for her and we were happy to do it," Zellner said. "We have been working with her since minutes after the polls closed and we want her to be successful in November and we've built a pretty good relationship and she made it clear that she wants to work closely with our party."

The mayor's race is likely to benefit from an expected strong turnout in the city over the battle for Erie County Sheriff, with Tim Howard not running again. The years of struggle over the Holding Center will probably bring out Democratc voters in the race between Democrat Kimberly Beaty and Republican John Garcia. Both won their November ballot lines by beating endorsed candidates.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.